Recycling – the Circular Economy: Admirable Efforts, With Significant Challenges as the Efforts Expand & Become More Complex for Businesses

G&A's Sustainability Highlights (12.20.2018)
Dec 27, 2018 10:00 AM ET
Newsletter

In these last days of the year 2018, of course, we’ll be seeing shared expert perspectives on the year now ending and a look into the new year, 2019.  Sustainable Brands shared one person’s perspectives on three sustainability trends that are gaining momentum heading into 2019.

The commentary is authored by Renee Yardley, VP-Sales & Marketing of Rolland Inc., a prominent North American commercial & security paper manufacturer established in 1882. The company strives to be an environmental leader in the pulp and paper industry. A wide range of fine paper products is made using renewable energy, recycled fiber, and de-inked without the use of chlorine.  Rolland started making recycled paper in 1989 and adopted biogas energy in 2004. The company is privately-owned and headquartered in Quebec, Canada.

The trends the author explains, of course, affect users of all types of paper products but also are useful for businesses in other sectors & industries; he sees:  (1) a shifting of global recycling mindsets and in the circular economy; (2) more open collaboration and partnerships for impactful change; and (3) the need measurement and efforts to quantify impact. 

Rolland is a paper supply company and so there is a focus on recycled (post-consumer) paper, fiber, forests, the recycled paper process, moving toward zero waste, municipal recycling in North America, and so on.

On recycling:  we are seeing reports now of problems arising in the waste stream; in the USA, municipalities are calling for a reduction of waste and automating processes (to help reduce costs).  There are new online marketplaces as well for buying and selling recovered items.  The “market solution” is a great hope for the future as we continue to use paper products (we are not quite a paperless society, are we?).

Part of the issues recycling advocates are dealing with:  China is restricting the import of recyclable materials (think:  that paper you put at curbside at home of business).  Consumers can be encouraged to reduce consumption but paper is paper and we all use it every day – so new approaches are urgently needed!

This is just the introduction of G&A's Sustainability Highlights newsletter this week. Click here to view full issue.